In his quest to identify employment opportunities for qualified Liberians with major concessions across the country, Labor Minister Cllr. Charles H. Gibson over the weekend paid a working visit to MNG-Gold Mining site in Korkoyah District, Bong County.
MNG-Gold is a foreign gold mining company that has introduced underground mining operations in Liberia for the first time.
According to a Labor Ministry statement, the Minister and team from the Ministry of Labor met and held successful discussions with both management and the leadership of workers as well as ESP, the company sub-contracted by MNG to carry out the underground mining activities in the country.
The meeting centered on job creation for Liberians, decent work environment and compliance to the Labor Law of Liberia.
During the meeting with both managements of MNG-Gold and ESP, the Labor Minister stressed the need for Liberians to occupy senior manager positions such as Human Resource Officer, Accountants, etc. within the companies as well as the provision of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for workers at the mining site.
He said as Minister of Labor, he will work to ensure that more Liberians are employed and their safety are secured noting that “HRs are better in ensuring the safety and protection of workers when they are Liberians.”
In separate statements, both managements of MNG-Gold and ESP admitted to having foreigners occupying the position of HR in their respective companies, but promised to have them replaced once the Ministry of Labor can assist in identifying qualified Liberians to serve in said capacity.
The MNG-Gold management said that despite the challenges faced by the company due to COVID-19, the company will continue to provide employment for Liberians. They said that out of the total of 107 workforce, 30 are expatriates while 77 are Liberians and promised further reduction in the number of expatriates.
They informed the Minister that there is one Liberian Manager and several others playing supervisory rolls and heads of sections. They promised to furnish the Ministry with all open positions or vacancies at the company to afford Liberians the opportunity to compete.
For their part, the management of ESP said that at the moment, several positions at the company are being contracted to Liberians, but is training more Liberians in underground mining activities, with skills to use the different mining equipment and is looking to employing many as soon as the company is in full operations.
The Labor Minister and team were taken on an inspection tour of the company’s facilities including the underground mining site at which time they had the opportunity to speak with workers about their conditions of work and safety.
Meanwhile, Labor Minister Gibson is advising technicians that his Ministry will effectively guide employers and employment institutions on the implementation of the Labor Law and practices instead of allowing them (employers) to go wrong before taking actions.